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Sisi signs off on Tiran and Sanafir transfer deal Open in fullscreen

Robert Cusack

Sisi signs off on Tiran and Sanafir transfer deal

The deal inspired large protests in Egypt on Wednesday [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 24 June, 2017

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President Sisi's office appeared not to want to publicise the deal being finalised and many newspapers have only published the bare minimum.

The Egyptian president formally signed off on the bill handing the two islands over to Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified the bill, but his official website apparently forgot to publicise the event - with many media outlets only reporting the event with the bare minimum detail.

"President Sisi ratified the Agreement on the delimitation of maritime borders between the Arab Republic of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, after approval by the House of Representatives,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s office said.

Parliament approved the agreement on Wednesday, effectively signing the islands of Tiran and Sanafir over to Saudi Arabia, despite the bill meeting numerous political roadblocks along the way.

Sisi pushed for the bill to pass following a private agreement with Saudi Arabia's King Salman al-Saud last year.

Salman allegedly promised billions of dollars in aid and investment during his visit to Cairo, in exchange for Tiran and Sanafir.

One Egyptian rights lawyer, widely expected to run in next year's presidential election,called Sisi a "traitor" over his government's decision to pass the bill.

The move sparked rare, angry demonstrations in Egypt against Sisi's "sell out", with 150 protesters arrested in the government crackdown.

Army soldiers and tanks were deployed as the government feared an uprising against the controversial move.

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